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Thread: Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

    A nice clear statement by Micheal Reichmann and his relationship with vendors.

    Just one more reason I look to MR and Luminous Landscape for quality reviews.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

    yes it is. However, I hope he provides some detail as to what level of involvement he may have for individual reviews. Like saying that the Leica press junket did cover travel and other stuff, which he really did not elaborate on in his article. This blanket statement is a nice policy to show, but having a bit more revelation for specific reviews may still be needed and wanted. That being said, MR does not have to comply with US rules, as far as things look now, but that could change. This is a good start.

    LJ

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

    He isn t running for a political office? I don t get it with all this stuff about the press junket.

    First.....does anyone think Leica would be stupid enough to take someone that has been a foe in the past ? Do you get it that David Farkes really likes Leica equipment and of course he also is a major dealer. You obviously pick people that are competent and well respected ...but whom you know just plan enjoy Leica s. I would expect some highlight areas for improvement in future generations ...but did anyone expect a negative review.

    Second ...Leica certainly made a substantial contribution to the visits ..either directly or through room and board . This plus the fun or visiting the factory,speaking with key members of the Leica team and downing a few beers.....will always give the vendor the benefit of the doubt. Just factor it in ..maybe its a softball critique of a capability. Like Sean Reid s bitching about lack of professional weather sealing.

    I think Michael stating up front that he has had a long history of Leica M equipment and is without a doubt a fan......he wants the M9 to be the dream machine?

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    Re: Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

    Roger,
    At the risk of maybe taking this off the tracks, I think there is a lot of value for folks to know just what sort of spiff or compensation may have gone into helping grease the wheel for a more positive review. Handing out a baseball cap is quite different than providing international airfare, lodging and meal accommodations, etc. Many folks that do know the players, that do read reviews and forums may quickly see the wink and take those softball comments with a bit less judgement. Others that do not, may be lead to believe that some things are the second coming or something. For anybody looking for some of this new equipment, it is very nice to read reviews from folks that know the gear, and have had some involvement with it and the company over time. It does help build the trust and credibility. Sure, if you are the manufacturer, you want the best and most credible reviews for a new product to help with its launch. However, if it looks like you have "bought" those reviews, it starts to raise some questions about what may NOT be told in those reviews, not just what may be told. I am not saying that anything Michael, Sean, David or Phil reported was not accurate, nor helpful. Phil may have the least familiarity and may take a more straight on analytical look at things. David has a sales background, and wants folks to buy. Sean has his own review site, and wants folks to send him money for his reviews and thoughts. Michael has openly stated that he no longer will do the detailed reviews that others do, but will impart his impressions as a working professional and a long time user. All good and fair to know.

    Now, if somebody else writes a review that may not be as well known, and starts waxing so positive about something, most folks do start to wonder if there is some motivation behind that sort of thing, especially if there are others with less glowing reviews, or if personal knowledge leads one to question the conclusions. By openly letting folks know if any compensation has been offered or provided prior to the test drive, it at least lets readers make their own call on what they think and what may have a bit more gloss.

    Consumers Digest is successful because it does not take anything from manufacturers, has an outlined set of criteria for judging things, and provides all the test results. Cameras and equipment today, especially at the higher end, are very complicated, quite expensive, and for some, bewilderingly confusing due to the surrounding marketing pitches, hype, brand loyalty, and forum chatter. Having some credible reviews to help in the decision and evaluation process is very helpful. Knowing, or at least having some idea of how hard or soft the review may be, through possible influence by the manufacturers sponsoring these sort of outings is also good to know. (For example, I was not aware until David commented much later, that Leica wanted to review the S2 images he had chosen to show folks, and also did not want him to publish those before the S2 was released for production. That was helpful to know for me. The M9 stuff was more wide open and some other folks, like Jono Slack, were publishing there thoughts, impressions and images the day it went on sale. That was very good to see also.)

    I have a lot of respect for Michael, and laud his public general disclosure. It is not beyond what I have suspected from his past reviews of things, but for which he has not always clarified his position. This is particularly true with printers. No, he is not running for political office, but he is putting his credibility on the line and on the Web daily, and honesty never works against one in those cases.

    To your comment about Leica taking somebody that was less positively disposed toward them and asking them to something like the trip in Germany and to write a review.....well, if their gear is what they are claiming it to be, and the reviewer has a larger audience of readers, that would be a risk, but maybe a bold and confident one to take. (Phil Askey was sort of in this position. He is not a big rangefinder person, from what he has said before, yet he has a huge readership on his forum and folks understand his reviews....may not always agree with conclusions, but see the consistency.) How else do you win over critics than by giving them the inside story and letting them see if they can find the chinks in the armor? Just how I see some of this.

    The disclosure concept is a good one, I think. It helps puts stuff out into the open and folks can then stop wondering and concentrate on what is being reviewed.

    I do not expect you or others to agree with my comments, opinions, or thoughts. That is fine. I am just calling them as I see them in the larger picture of things and how it may have impact or value. Not trying to bully anybody or convince them of anything else. Just opening up the channels to consider broader perspectives.

    LJ

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    Re: Luminous Landscape and full disclosure

    But - If someone says X is so, and I check/validate that it is - I do not care if his airfare, vehicle, food and board and free samples were provided. If my validation determines it is a load of junk - I still do not care what he was paid, given or supplied - however, the credibility of that person hits a low.

    Book reviewers get a free copy of the book they review - sometimes they pan the book - but it is still up to me to decide whether it was a good book, irrespective of the review. [The review for me simply determines whether the subject is of interest].

    Nowhere in UK, Europe Asia, Australia, New Zealand - reading English langauage press - have I seen attached to a book review - 'Book provided for free.' Come to think of it - I did not see that in US press, either.

    So I do not see why this causes so much agony.

    My 2c.

    Cheers,

    John

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